Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Golden Age Heroes - Dr. Diamond

In my last post I highlighted Strongman from Tem Publishing/Holyoke so I thought I'd stick with that publisher for this post, featuring their short-lived character of Dr. Diamond. Dr. Drake Gorden was traveling on a ship heading for the south seas when it was hit by a typhoon and he was swept overboard. He ends up on an uncharted island and climbs to the top of a high mountain where he meets a Tibetan monk. The monk just happens to have in his possession a black diamond which was used by an ancient Egyptian for good but was later misused for evil until it came to the Tibetan. OK, really now - an ancient Egyptian diamond, found by a Tibetan monk who's living on an uncharted island in the south Pacific. Where did these guys come up with these stories?? Anyway, sensing that Dr. Gorden was a good and honest man, the monk gives him the diamond, which has the ability to grant its possessor the power to rid the world of evil. OK, so why didn't the monk use it to fight evil himself rather than just hanging out on some lonely island waiting for some other guy to come along?? Maybe the monk was a pacifist. Anyway, Dr. Gorden returns to his own world where, now endowed with the power of 50 men, takes on the task of ridding the world of evil, adopting the name of Dr. Diamond. This is another example, like Strongman I featured the other day, where a superhero character is given powers through magic but is apparently not a magic user himself. Dr. Diamond's campaign against evil only lasted for three or four issues of Cat-Man Comics before he disappeared into comic oblivion - from which sometimes even a magic diamond can't rescue you. One of the things that drew me to this character was that he had a mustache. That was not a common feature of superheroes during the Golden Age, although a number of magicians sported them. I may feature more heroes with mustaches in coming days. Anyway, for the action figure I used the body of a Toy Biz Daredevil, the arms and legs of a Silver Surfer and the head from a Tony Stark. I realize that the picture shows Dr. Diamond with blue trunks and a red belt, but the next couple of pages had him in red trunks with a blue belt - a not uncommon phenomena during this period when comic "houses" might have several artists working on stories. I decided to go with the red trunks and blue belt. The little red bib piece was cut from cloth, as was the cape.
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